.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Labour splits widen over Brexit

Theresa May's refusal to commit the Government to anything more meaningful than 'Brexit means Brexit' may well be keeping the Tories together for the time being, but that is certainly not the case for Labour.

The Guardian reports that the carefully brokered truce within Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is at risk of blowing apart, with the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said to be “furious” at John McDonnell’s description of leaving the European Union as an “enormous opportunity”:

How to tackle voters’ concerns about the free movement of people has become an increasingly fraught issue within the party since the EU referendum, with some backbenchers, including Emma Reynolds, Stephen Kinnock and Rachel Reeves, suggesting the party should back tougher controls.

But Corbyn, Abbott, and the shadow business secretary, Clive Lewis, are keener to stand up for the benefits of immigration — though Lewis has suggested foreign workers could be forced to join a trade union before they can take up a post in Britain.

Labour’s policy on Brexit is discussed at fortnightly meetings of a “Brexit subcommittee”, chaired by Corbyn, with Starmer, Thornberry and Abbott present.

But McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, reportedly went far beyond the agreed line – and shocked some Labour MPs, including Starmer – when he used his pre-autumn statement speech in London on Tuesday to urge the party to seize on the opportunities opened up by Britain’s exit from the EU. One source described the shadow Brexit secretary as “absolutely furious” about McDonnell’s intervention.

McDonnell said in his speech: “Labour accepts the referendum result as the voice of the majority and we must embrace the enormous opportunities to reshape our country that Brexit has opened for us.

“In that way we can speak again to those who were left behind and offer a positive, ambitious vision instead of leaving the field open to divisive Trump-style politics.”

With both the Tories and Labour ripping themselves apart over Europe, those who are committed to remaining within the EU, those voters seeking to have a say over whatever deal is cooked up in response to the referendum result, only have the Liberal Democrats to turn to.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?